Ireland: Markets In Financial Instruments Act 2018 – Sanctions Specified For Certain Offences Under The Mifid Regulations

Last Updated: 23 November 2018
Article by Muireann Reedy

The recently enacted Markets in Financial Instruments Act 2018 (the "2018 Act"), sets out maximum sanctions available for certain offences under the European Union (Markets in Financial Instruments) Regulations 2017 (the "MiFID Regulations") where a person is convicted on indictment.1 These are higher than those provided for under the European Communities Act 1972 (the "1972 Act").

Summary proceedings for offences under the MiFID Regulations may be brought and prosecuted by the Central Bank of Ireland (the "Central Bank"). The Director of Public Prosecutions is responsible for prosecuting offences on indictment.

Firms should be aware that breaches of the MiFID Regulations also fall within the remit of the Central Bank's Administrative Sanctions Procedure and that administrative sanctions can also be applied to entities which are not "regulated financial service providers" in certain circumstances.

"Relevant offences"

The 1972 Act provides that where an offence is committed under regulations made pursuant to the 1972 Act, the maximum sanctions available on conviction on indictment shall be a fine of €500,000 and a prison term of three years.

The 2018 Act lists various provisions of the MiFID Regulations, a contravention of which will constitute a "relevant offence." The 2018 Act states that a person who is guilty of a "relevant

offence" shall be liable, on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €10 million and/or to a prison term not exceeding ten years. The maximum available sanctions for a conviction on indictment for a "relevant offence" are therefore significantly greater than the maximum sanctions for indictment, provided for under the 1972 Act.

The breaches of the MiFID Regulations which constitute a " relevant offence" include (among others) the following:

failing to comply with requirements imposed on a person or firm by an Authorised Officer who has been appointed by the Central Bank;

failure by a person to make certain notifications to the Central Bank before making a relevant acquisition or disposal in an investment firm or of the investment firm to notify the Central Bank it if becomes aware of any acquisition or disposal of holdings in its capital that would cause it to exceed or fall below the thresholds set out in Regulation 19(2) of the MiFID Regulations);

failure by an investment firm to make adequate arrangements to safeguard clients' ownership rights, when holding financial instruments belonging to clients;

failure by an investment firm to comply with the conditions and requirements of its authorisation;

failure by an investment firm to take all appropriate steps to identify and prevent or manage conflicts of interest that arise in the course of providing investment services or ancillary services (or a combination of both);

failure by an investment firm to act honestly, fairly and professionally in accordance with the best interests of its clients and to comply with the principles set out in Regulation 32 ("General Principles and information to clients") or Regulation 33 ("Assessment of suitability and appropriateness and reporting to clients") of the MiFID Regulations; and

failure by an investment firm to execute orders on terms most favourable to a client.

Other offences under the MiFID Regulations

As mentioned above, the 2018 Act states that a breach of certain provisions of the MiFID Regulations will be a "relevant offence". However the MiFID Regulations also list numerous other provisions a breach of which will constitute a criminal offence (although these are not specifically designated as a "relevant offence" under the 2018 Act). For example Regulation 119(8) states that a person who contravenes any provision of Regulation 119(5) or Regulation 119(6) shall be guilty of an offence. Regulation 119(5) contains sixty-seven subsections.

The MiFID Regulations also provide that where an offence is committed under the Regulations by a corporate and is proved to have been committed with the consent, connivance or approval of any person who is a director, manager, secretary or other officer of the body corporate, that person shall also be guilty of an offence.

Other sanctioning powers

Regulated financial service providers (and people involved in their management) should also be aware that they can be sanctioned under the Central Bank's Administrative Sanctions Procedure (the "ASP") for any breach of the MiFID Regulations.

The maximum monetary penalty which can be imposed on a regulated entity under the Central Bank's ASP for a breach of the MiFID Regulations (subject to the exceptions noted below) is €10 million or 10 per cent of its total annual turnover in the preceding year – whichever is the greater – or a penalty of up to €1 million on a person.

In certain instances the MiFID Regulations provide derogations from the "standard" penalties applicable under the ASP regime to allow for different and sometimes higher penalties to be applied for certain breaches of the MiFID Regulations e.g. a maximum monetary penalty of up to €5 million can be imposed on a person for certain specified breaches of the MiFID Regulations.

Other sanctions are also available to the Central Bank under this regime such as the revocation of regulated entity's authorisation (if it is not authorised by the European Central Bank) or a direction disqualifying a person from being involved in the management of a regulated entity for a certain period.

Individuals and firms which are not "regulated financial service providers" can also be subject to administrative sanctions by the Central Bank for certain breaches of the MiFID Regulations. These include the financial penalties referred to above and a direction to pay the Central Bank a monetary penalty which represents up to twice the amount of the benefit derived from the breach where that can be determined (even if this exceeds the above monetary penalties). A person or firm cannot be prosecuted for a criminal offence if they have had a monetary penalty imposed on them by the Central Bank under either of the above administrative sanctioning regimes.


1 - The Act also deals with other matters which do not relate to the MiFID Regulations.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions